Last July 23, 1816, 12 young men (probably of my age) climbed the hill of Fourviere to make a promise to our Lady, to found a religious order dedicated to the sweet name of Mary. This vow was sealed by their strong energy and passion to renew the suffering church of France after the French Revolution. This tradition is one of the familiar treasures of the humble beginnings of the Society of Mary.
197 years had passed and the renewal of the loving face of Church is still on its way. As Marists, we start to reflect on how can we in flesh that same vision that the early confreres had when they made this promise.
Today, in the presence of our Marist Volunteers and Lay Missionaries, the Ranong Community did the reenactment of this promise. After reading the Word of the Pledge, we affixed our own signatures and promised to commit ourselves once again to our Mission here in Ranong. The same celebration took place in Davao, Philippines. Fr. Pat Devlin, sm and the Bangkal Formation community re-enacted the promise and signing of the pledge.
This affixing of signatures is not just an act of a reenactment of what happened 197 years ago. As Marists, it is our own way of
participating to the greater work of God in Marys’ way. It is a way of sharing the love of Jesus to the marginalized migrants in Ranong; to the street children, prisoners and non-sectarian schools of Davao city; and to the people of Matti, Digos City.
Finally, it is a continual YES to the Work of Mary here in our District, and to the Mission of the Society of Mary as a whole..
Happy 197th Anniversary of Fourviere Promise to all the Marists around the world! May this celebration be always a sign of our continued and renewed love to the Project of Mary as Marists.